You can't get the Fairmonts in manual, and you can't get XRs with the Fairmont-style features, so either way you'd need to do some mods to get the best of both worlds. The EL Fairmont Ghia is an excellent compromise as it has an XR6-style engine and diff. I'd recommend doing the sums as far as what features or performance you want, and what you are willing to spend. If all you want is outright performance, you might as well consider modifying the GLi with forced induction.
Jack Travis, E-Series Acting President
1989 Ford Fairmont Ghia turbo/GL replica (underway)
1994 Eunos 800M
1990 Ford Laser S
Well, as a guide for ya since you live in Adelaide fordel, i managed to get a 1996 EFII Fairmont Ghia, Tickford XR6 motor, 3.45LSD, Premium Sound, Grey Leather/Velour Interior, 133,000kms for $13500incl GST, Stamp Duty & Transfer fees...
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